Saturday, December 9, 2023

Pakistan comes out in support of Tablighi Jamaat after Saudi ban

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Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia outlawed the Tablighi Jamaat. In Pakistan, the imposition has been roundly condemned. Tablighi Jamaat, however, according to all Pakistani parliamentarians, “has nothing to do with terrorism.” However, Saudi Arabia’s religious ministry announced the ban at the same time, claiming that the group is a terrorist entry point.

After Friday prayers, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs asked mosques to warn people not to join them in Takreer. Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr Abdullatif Al-Alsheikh, advised all mosques to include it in their rituals and to make people aware of the hazards linked with it, according to a series of tweets from the ministry.

Earlier on Tuesday, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhary Pervez Elahi scheduled a special session of the House. MLA Khadija Umar made a motion in favor of Tablighi Jamaat during this time. The Speaker of the House read the motion and stated that the House agrees with the people who are working to promote trust. He asserted that Tablighi Jamaat has no ties to terrorism and that their history demonstrates they have never been involved in such activities. The motion was later overwhelmingly passed by the House.

It is noteworthy that the Punjab assembly, on the other hand, banned Tablighi Jamaat from universities in January 2016. It was also prohibited from mosques near all campuses because lawmakers believed the Tablighi Jamaat was sympathetic to terrorist organisations and would try to mislead young students. Five years later, the Punjab Assembly has praised the Tablighi Jamaat for “bringing goodwill to Pakistan.”

Given Pakistan’s current economic circumstances, it’s improbable that Imran Khan could even consider defying the Saudi ruler. Imran Khan is well aware that he must turn to religion to conceal his shortcomings and deceive the public. In a scenario like this, when Pakistan’s general elections are near, Imran might try to secure the support of fundamentalists by backing the Tablighi Jamaat. Pakistan will have another election in 2023, therefore Imran Khan is keeping a close eye on his voter base.

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